- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 17, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — For the third time this year, the state’s budget for the next two years has died in the Senate, risking shutdown of state government operations and construction projects in 10 weeks or less.

A conference report on the $85 billion spending bill five months in the making died on a 20-19 vote Tuesday after Democrats balked in a dispute over funding for a high-priority Capital Beltway transit project.

It was a party-line vote, with 20 Republicans voting for it; 19 Democrats against it. But because it failed to achieve the necessary majority — 21 votes — the bill does not pass.

The Senate recessed until Wednesday rather an adjourned, preserving the opportunity to reconsider and perhaps pass the spending plan at that time.